One mistake social entrepreneurs, service providers, and business people at large often make is to prioritize the subject of money when talking with their clients.
Yea, I know everyone needs money, and it’s probably the first thing that would come up in your mind when you think of doing business. But experience has taught me that the best way to get more money is to put money last when discussing with clients.
You can talk about budgeting and stuff, but your clients need to know that you care about them as much as you’re interested in receiving a credit alert from them
Whenever I tell people to “focus on giving value and not receiving money,” it often sounds crazy because the primary reason you went into the business in the first instance was to make income.
But if you deal with people long enough, you’d realize that there is so much that value sharing can give you beyond your immediate craving for money. This may contradict all you know and stand for, but it’s a principle that has been working for me.
My Experience With A Client
I’m a freelance content writer, and in my industry, there is what we call a “test job.” Some folks call it “interview gig,” while others brand it different terms. Basically, a test job is often the first gig a new client would give a freelancer, especially if the client wants to propose a long term contract.
The writer’s performance and delivery of the test job is one of the major factors that will determine whether the project will continue as planned or not.
Some time ago, I connected with a new client, Mr. A. He was all shades of promises, and at once, I envisaged a bright journey with him. I was determined to make him smile and keep him to myself. He gave me a test job, which I handled with every ounce of expertise.
When I was done, he loved the piece. But as much of a masterpiece it was, he found fault with the “tone” of the article. Actually, that was the first time a client would make such a correction on my work because I always stick to details. Every other thing was good except the tone.
I made some quick fixes, adjusting sentence structures and words to reflect his taste. Though he accepted and used it for the intended purpose, somehow, I knew he was not 95% satisfied with the new changes I made.
Yes, I know it’s not always possible to satisfy every client completely, but I’m not used to rendering unsatisfying services.
Moreover, I knew he was no ordinary client and had the propensity to open bigger doors. Knowing I didn’t give him 100% satisfaction, I had to look for another way to ascertain I had won his heart.
I did something you may call stupid afterward. Do you remember the rules of money that said, “Don’t lose money?” Well, I kind of broke that rule.
Mr. A requested for my bank details to pay me, but I declined. I simply told him it was my first job with him, and he should keep the money as my gift to him. You can guess his reaction; he was as surprised as my conscience.
Believe me; I’m not in the habit of rejecting paycheques. For what exactly? But I know the importance of business compromise for the greater gain.
Also, it was not a matter of lack of self-confidence. I know my worth, and despite his corrections, I know how distinguished my services are. Nonetheless, I was moved to forego that fee, with my primary motivation being VALUE.
In as much as money is good, value is more important. If you can give a client value, he will come chasing after you. My value was incomplete, and I had to sow that gift into his life to complete the missing 5 or 6% of satisfaction. Crazy, right?
A few days later, I got a message from someone else, Mr. B. This new person is also in need of a seasoned writer with SEO expertise and all the icing on the cake. As usual, I gave him as much value as I can afford. And this time, I received my money with joy and gladness. Lol.
I had already worked on two projects with him before he told me it was the first client, Mr. A, that referred him to me. He had seen the gig I did for Mr. A and was impressed with it.
Apart from the fact that Mr. B loved the piece, Mr. A went further to put in some good words for me. He didn’t stop there; he went ahead to recommend other clients to me, all of whom I’m still working with today.
All this happened because I made a client believe that I was more interested in the value I was offering him than the money he would pay me. Some of you may think I rejected a paycheque probably because I had so much to spare then. Nah. That’s far from the truth.
I was actually on ground zero then. I was too broke that the rats in my house pitied me. So letting go of that money was a huge sacrifice on my part.
Value Over Money
Ain’t asking you to do what I did; you may not get the same result. But if you understand the underlying principle of “value over money,” then you will surely get better results in your endeavors.
I hate it when you propose jobs to people, and the first thing they say is, “how much will you pay?” That’s gross and the height of selfishness. There and then, I conclude they do that have my best interest at heart.
This mentality is similar to what John Obidi calls “the spirit of Esau.” It means you’re concerned about the immediate that you forget there is a blossoming future you can latch unto.
How do you react when a client fails to pay you as at when due? I can imagine someone saying, “we go kill ourselves.” Lol. As you dragging that person around, you’re passing a message to potential clients that you’re a tiger ready to devour them at the slightest provocation.
You should set a system that will discourage clients from owing you. But what if the system fails, will you rain fire and brimstone on them? As simple as these things sound, they can determine how much you take from your business monthly.
When you negotiate deals with people, let them see what they stand to gain by buying from you or working with you. It’s not about you. Look out for the pain points of the client and how to resolve it. That’s value.
I apply this principle in writing high conversion content, and you can also apply it in your relationships with people too. You can achieve more with them if only you can show them that they mean more to you.